WALES — Brian Daniels has been part of the Oak Hill community all his life.
The 2013 Oak Hill High School graduate has played two sports for the Raiders — lacrosse and football — and has worked as a high school physical education/health teacher since graduating from the Husson University in 2017.
Daniels’ nephews also play several sports for Oak Hill.
Now, Daniels takes on the job of athletic director at his alma mater, succeeding Jim Palmerwho was AD when Daniels was an athlete.
“He took over as DA one of my last years in high school, so it’s good to see him in that role and then work alongside him now,” Daniels said.
Over the past two years, Daniels has become even more involved in athletics at Oak Hill. He became an assistant football coach two years ago and he also helped on the administrative side.
“I’ve always had aspirations to go into administration,” Daniels said. “For the past two years, (Palmer) had been asking for help with game coverage here and there, and on top of that, I also coached high school football. somehow gave insight into the admin role.
Daniels learned his fair share from Palmer, who led a successful Raiders athletic program for the past 11 years, highlighted by three consecutive Class D football state titles from 2013-2015 and a state championship. class C field hockey in 2016.
“It was really cool to learn from him, not only from a player’s perspective but also from a colleague’s perspective,” Daniels said. “We’ve had conversations over the years about what it means to be AD and that role.”
“He’s about as good as they come, working with the kids and with the athletes,” Daniels added. “He kind of embodies the whole aspect of coaching and what athletics does for your community, the athletes and the students.”
And Daniels also knows he will be able to impact many more children in a role as a sports director as opposed to his previous roles as a teacher and coach.
“As a coach, you see athletics as the specific sport you do. But as an AD you are like a coach of coaches,” Daniels said. “So it broadens your eyes to what athletics can do and the value of athletics. Taking that step to an AD really expands my reach and impact on a lot more kids and helps them grow.
WHAT’S ON THE PROGRAM?
The first order of business for Daniels is to continue the process of renovating several lots at the high school.
“We have some big field projects going on in high school,” Daniels said. “We just converted our old softball field into a field hockey field and we are in the process of building a new softball field.
“These are fairly big projects that are coming. They are very time consuming and quite interesting from a new AD point of view. Creating fields is not something every AD typically does. So that was a unique perspective to dive into.
But the process is going according to plan, according to Daniels, with a healthy push from the community.
“There was a lot of community input and a lot of community drive to make this happen,” Daniels said. “We want to make sure the facilities are playable for seasons to come.”
In addition to building new fields, Daniels wants to tackle the problem of low turnout.
“A few programs, the numbers are down,” Daniels said. “So just make sure our programs are healthy and strong, and involve that development and recreation kids, and involve our kids and our coaches in our recreation programs.”
How is he going to do that, though? Well, Daniels has a plan, and it’s already in action.
“The most important thing is to get involved. The kids want to be active and love athletics,” Daniels said. applaud many of my coaches who have been very successful this summer It is important to have some of our student-athletes working with young children.
“There’s nothing better when you’re an elementary or middle school kid and you look up to those high school players and see how they do things and get instructions straight from them. It gives them that aspiration that they’re going to play there one day on those grounds,” Daniels added. “So I think a big part of it is getting our athletes involved and allowing them to help the younger ones grow.”